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Thread: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

  1. #1
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    Default Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    I have a new foster bully that could stand to gain a few pounds. The problem is that she is terrified of her dish. She has been abused and I am thinking that someone maybe hit her with her dish. I tried feeding her from a plate, but if it moves across the floor as she's eating she bolts into another room. Can anyone give me any ideas? I've been feeding her TOTW kibble & canned.

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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    This is a tough one! What are you doing right now to be sure she eats?

    Perhaps you could make a trail of food to her dish, with the YUMMY stuff in her dish. She may be used to eating off the ground, I have heard of abusers not even using a dish for crying out loud but just tossing the food on the ground. Maybe she does not even know what a dish is?

    Perhaps something heavy and ceramic for a dish so it does not slide. Also they make that no skid stuff for RV people you could put under it so the bowl wont slide.

    I am sure you will get more suggestions but this is all I can think of off the top of my head....

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    Bulldog Vet in Training gatorfan85's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    I'm not familiar with that brand of food but she may eat from a mounted or raised bowl? They dont move and it doesnt really look like regular bowls. If that doesnt work you may have to hand feet her and slowly move the bowl closer with the objective being you getting your hand inside the bowl. Then once she will eat out of your hand while its in the bowl she should get over that fear. Also giving something SUPER appealing to her as a treat for going near it and even eating near/from it would help. That way she will start associating the bowl with a GOOD thing and not a bad thing. The asscociating treat trick can work with ANYTHING,(except with mine and dog aggression)
    Last edited by gatorfan85; 10-28-2010 at 08:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    Thanks, she kind of eats on the run. She takes a mouthful and then eats it as she's running to hide. She is such a sweet girl. I duct taped a paper plate to the floor and a dinner plate as well. I think I may purchase one a canvas travel dish for her. I made a mixture of cream cheese, diced boiled eggs, hamburger, ground venison, oatmeal soaked in milk, and peanut butter. I know she wants to eat it, and I know she wants her food. She has been with me for a month and has made a lot of progress except when it comes to eating.

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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    Almost sounds like she got food taken from her- so she is running with it so she gets to eat it. Was she with other dogs before she came to you?

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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    She came from a kill shelter in Iowa. I'm not sure about her life before that. I know that she was forced to free whelp puppies, but she was picked up as a stray so who knows when or how many litters she's had. She's a sweet girl.

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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    Awwww poor sweet little girl! It is so sad to hear all of that. And bless you for fostering her.... you are such an awesome woman!

    I am sure you will get more advice from the rest of the gang when they all log in

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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    Taste of the Wild is what I've been giving her. Maybe I need to feed her something with more fat content.

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    Bully Bootie Duty froggz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    Oh poor girl!!! I agree with the others about using a fixed dish of some sort. I use the stainless steel dishes that come with a bracket for mounting in the kennel. I have to feed my eb in her kennel as she came to me as severely food agressive (and has proved it with treats) so I just don't give her the chance to boss anyone out of their dish. A ceramic set may work better for you though as the metal dishes do clang around a bit!

    Another thing since she's willing to eat off the plate, pretend to eat out of her dish. Alpha pack members always eat first. I also really agree with the others to try putting something suuuuuper yummy in there for her. TOTW is a good brand, I haven't had any issues with it and my three dogs look GREAT on it!

    I would also personally carry her dish with you guys at all times. Make sure that she can see it always. Pretty soon that scary dish is going to be a run of the mill always around the house item. If your not worried about looking silly, take it on walks too.

    Patience is the key though. The thing my eb has taught me is that they take twice as long as other dogs to settle in. They also take twice as long to give up their bad habbits! I love working with dogs and dog training yet it still took me April to August to get Sadie to lay down on command. She just darn well knew from her previous home that if she just persisted long enough she'd "win" the treat without having to do anything, trying to be the alpha of the house. I have two other rescue pit mixes and they pick up on training SO much faster! She still has issues with being outside then coming inside to mark and rushing through the door at full 40lb speed but its getting better. At first I thought she was afraid of the door but it didn't take me long to realise she just wants to be first. Well I'm first! There are days that I have to walk backwards through the kitchen, finger pointed at her saying "slow....go slow..... slow down...... slow...... go slow...." all the way through the kitchen and out the door or she'll bolt and take out anything in her path. I've had alot of scratch marks and bruises on my legs from her trying to be first out the door this past summer. But I don't give up or give in.

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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    Oh, I've been through that with my oldest bully, Lil. Lil is as bully as they come. I fixed her food aggression issue by only giving her a few pieces at a time, reinforcing that the food was mine and mine to share as I pleased. Now anyone, dog or human can take food from her dish. I work with dogs at an animal sanctuary. I rehab them. I am the Alpha at home. She will only eat if I feed her. I usually end up closing myself in the bathroom with her to get her to eat. I shower, while she eats. Then again in the evening while I'm getting ready for bed. This keeps her from bolting with her food. Taping the plate to the floor has helped somewhat. She hasn't lost any weight, so that is good. She marks things occasionally, but she is getting better about that. She has been in rescue since June and two days ago was the first time she barked. I'm pretty sure that she has been beaten for barking, eating and just plain being a dog. For three months she was untouchable, terrified of humans. She is on me like velcro though. Always touching me, always. I actually allow her to sit in my lap while I watch television. This is a bad habit as far as most dogs go, but she is starved for affection and I will do anything to show her she is loved. She wants to please me, I know she will be a great dog once she is more confident around humans.

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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    Its horrible what some people will do. I'm glad there are those of us around to "clean up the mess" so to speak.

    Since you've tried alot of the suggestions, I would just carry the bowl with you at all times, so that it is close to her and hopefully will be less scary.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Foster Bulldog afraid to eat out of dish..... help!

    have you tried hand feeding her??? might try that so she gets used to you and the hand that feeds her also might move the food bowl closer to you each time you hand feed... once she trusts you you can start putting it on the ground next to the bowl and gradually move it to her bowl...

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